Watercolor woodblock print with stencils
26 x 38 inches (97 x 67 cm) on Gekko washi
With thanks to American Antiquarian Society for reference materials.
I finish this print with the addition of an anthropomorphized sun based on an 18th century almanac illustration and a little city taken from a 1762 woodcut whose original context I can't locate. The print began with a quote from "The New Book of Knowledge" (1767):
Wind is an Exhalation hot and dry, drawn up into the Air by the Power of the Sun, and by the weight thereof driven down.This is an example of the science of America's founders, based on Aristotle's natural philosophy and the Aristotelian concept of "exhalations," which are ill-defined but seem to be a way of describing the invisible flow of things such as wind and water. Although some Newtonian scientific principles were available in the 1700s, historians agree that the replacement of Aristotelian cosmology with Newtonian was a long process and not complete until into the 19th century.
Also present in the imagery of this print is the fact that this spring two of my women friends – on opposite sides of the country, neither of them smokers, and within 6 weeks of each other – were diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. I couldn't make art about wind without thinking about them, without thinking about breathing, without thinking about the environmental factors that may or may not play a role in cancers and other respiratory diseases. I offer this print with love, for my friends and for our planet.